I did it! I booked a trip to NYC with Anthony and we attended Blogger Bash and Sweet Suite 2017 last week. I can tell you that by far, this is a conference worth every dime and effort. Why? It was less of a school about blogging and more about collaboration. It is one thing to collaborate with other Bloggers and there is plenty of that too but it is quite another to meet the brands and PR companies face to face.
The conference had an agenda that you could pick and choose the events right for you over 2 days. I love that it broken into 2 days. It would have been too much in one day especially being a new NYC visitor and learning transportation options. Here is a recap of the events I attended which are about all of them.
Armitron Breakfast: Turning Passion Into Adventure. This was a panel of speakers including Lyss Stern (DivaMoms), Sara Roberts (Creative Service Director at ELLE), Barbara Weichselbaum (EVP Armitron), Mary Kate McGrath (EIC PureWow), Olivia Jeanette (Style Influencer) and Rebecca Dube (Editor Today Parenting Team). It was great to hear the challenges of starting a brand and maintaining it in this ever-growing social media age while keeping true to the women, Wives, Mothers we are.
A special thank you to Armitron Watches as we went to their booth first after breakfast. It was the first booth over the 2 days my son was at and I wanted him to learn to speak well for himself and his channel. I told him to think of a question and ask-he went up, looked at the watches and asked if they make kids watches too. Not only did they explain that they do but they had one his size in a box and kindly asked if he would like to have it. What they didn’t know is that Anthony has been looking for a watch. As we have been shopping town he was wanting a watch and you should have seen the look on his face when he was handed one. This really helped motivate him and think kindly of everyone at each booth over conference, not because he got a watch but because he walked away and said, “Mom. That was too nice of them.” It was and a great start to a great day.
Babypalooza: We were able to mingle with some of the best baby and toddler brands. We also met Kandi Burress of the Real Housewives and saw her adorable line of baby and toddler products called Raising Ace. Started with her husband and inspired by raising their son, Ace she found the passion to create products that will stay with baby into the toddler years.
We met some other great brands such as Mustela, RePlay, Austlen, Baby K’Tan, Lansinoh, Today, Oilogic (I got a great oil for Anthony when he is stuffed up and suffering with his seasonal allergies), After Bite, tasted delicious Tickle Water and more. Zuliliy was there and took some fun, complimentary photos.
CE Week: I was able to leave Anthony with my Mom who cane to NYC so I can mingle with some of the best tech brands. What was great is that I got to meet some of those I have worked on campaigns with in person from Nixplay and Canary and played with some fun products you will see real soon.
Sweet Suite: This is the true night of fun and play. Over 60 brands of toys, snacks and games waiting to show us the latest and coming soon! I can’t list all of the brands but it was great to meet certain people in person like Jacqueline from YumEarth and LeapFrog representatives as I am a LeapFrog Ambassador. We have a lot of brands to thank publicly so keep an eye out as we get through these products and share our experience and give you even more information.
Breakfast at the Toy Association: We ate some delicious food and met such a sweet staff at the Toy Association, a non-profit group with a passion for assisting in the development of play and safety. I was impressed by the standards they hold in the US and all of the hard and dedicated work the staff puts out so we can play safely. With the toys around the office and the swag they handed us it is obvious they love to play.
Stuff For Mom’s and Dad’s: On top of the Cantina Rooftop I was able to mingle some more with great brands for every household. From pets, laundry and sleep I saw some fantastic products I will be sharing about real soon.
I met some new Bloggers
How about that? Oh, the fellow Bloggers. I was jet lagged, there with Anthony and overwhelmed (in the best way possible) and it was over so soon before I really spent time mingling with everyone I wanted to. So, in support I will say that it was geat to chat with the following who also attended Blogger Bash 2017:
Neena Nandagopal of Almost Practical.com
Kendra Darr of Simply Darrling.com
Shauna Silverman of BarefootAndLovingIt.com
Jennifer Tammy of SugarSpiceAndGlitter.com
Tips for attending Blogger Bash
- Bring A LOT of business cards. I thought I was overdoing it taking a large stack and I had 1 card left in the end. 100 cards may not be quite enough.
- Have a pen handy. This was my first year and I realized something now that I am home and sorting through all of the cards and sheets handed out. If you take a card from a PR agency, make sure you write what table you are at with them. I had 4 cars with just PR contacts and they did not write their brand on the card so I don’t remember who they were representing. In the same if you take a press release and don’t see a card ask for one or have them write their personal contact on that release for you.
- Plan to check a bag. Sweet Suite sends you a box by mail with a lot of product but you also get handed product as well. I had my son with me so maybe we have a tad bit more but not by much. I cam home with all of our clothes shoved into the large suitcase and the carry on on size suitcase was full to the brim of swag, cards and souvenirs.
- Transportation: I had plans to cab it but ended up falling in love with using Uber. It is confusing finding the right corner to flag a car to. With Uber I was able to pre-schedule my ride the evening before conference and the times I ordered on the spot I waited no more than 5 minutes for a car to arrive. It shows you a map of your drivers car location as it is driving to you. This allowed me to see ahead of time which direction he is approaching from and make sure I am on the right side of the road for them. I had never used Uber before this trip and I will use them every trip I take now. I tried some other companies and they were not as interactive in the app and no prescheduling with them wither. Feel free to use my code and once you download the app and enter erins16695ue you will get your first ride free (it’s a max $15 discount for that first ride).
What was a memorable conference or fair you have attended in the line of work you do? I’d love to hear about it.